Mark is looking to change his ISP because his service is just too slow. DSL is only 3MBps. He's looking at wireless (WISP). Leo says that WISP isn't a bad way to go, but you have to buy all the equipment upfront, and you may have bandwidth caps. But it's an alternative for a rural area.
Sharon has a problem listening to streaming audio and video at home and suddenly, the stream stops for 30 seconds and then comes back on. What's going on? Leo says that's usually a buffering issue. If the internet connection drops out or isn't keeping up, then users get buffering. The internet wasn't really designed for heavy streaming and as such, buffering can occur when the stream needs to catch up. But it's gradually becoming a thing of the past. But another issue is that if she is signed up with DSL, she may be too far away from the central hub and that's causing the buffering.
Jeff has DSL and lately it's been really slow. Leo says that outside, about 2 miles from the hub, DSL is just unusable, which is why cable is a better option. The cable company tech added an "attenuator" on his line, which is designed to protect devices if the cable has too much of a signal. It doesn't affect speeds, it just protects electronics. Just leave it on, especially with 400 MBps!
Rick wants an internet service that will give him high speed uploading options. Leo says that Rick's options are to buy business class service. There's no bandwidth caps, and they will commit to a specific speed. He'll pay more, but for business it's worth it, especially because the uploads are faster. He should check out dslreports.com. He can search by zip code and read reviews from customers. Another choice is fiber, if he can get it.
Rick lives in a rural area and all he has is DSL. He gets power outages and he has to reboot his cameras. And his download speed is very slow. What are his options for maximizing his bandwidth? Leo says that he can connect to his modem with a cable and that'll give him his best speed. But the problem is that DSL gets slower the father he is from the central switch.
Don wants to put a flat screen in his back yard, and he wants to use the internet to get content on it. That means he'll need to improve his Wi-Fi. He bought the Google Wi-Fi mesh system to do just that, and he likes it. Leo says Mesh is an improvement for every home, and it's worth the price. But Don wants to know why his speed tests are always different. How can he get a true reading on internet bandwidth speeds? Leo says his ISP will always tell him the maximum possible speeds, not a consistent bandwidth speed from day to day.
James has had it with cable and wants get rid of it and stream. Leo says for most people, the best choice is to get broadband from the cable company, and then get TV from something like YouTube TV or Sling TV. The other choice is DSL, but there will be varying degrees of success depending on how far away from the main hub one is. With DSL, it slows down the farther one is away. Fiber is the other choice, and may be the best solution of all. But its coverage is spotty. High speed wireless is coming and once that hits, one can completely cut the cable.
Jane had DSL Extreme, but she says that AT&T won't allow it over the phone lines anymore. Leo says there's something going on with her particular neighborhood. She's still getting phone service, though. Jane says that AT&T isn't offering DSL either, but they're trying to push UVerse. Leo says that AT&T has decided to eliminate copper in her neighborhood and start using fiber. Fiber is glass and works better than copper.
Dan has AT&T and a new TP-Link router. Can he use his own with the AT&T DSL modem that has a router built-in? Leo says yes. He can turn off the AT&T's router radios and network address translation. He could try putting it into bridge mode. He'll have to open up the browser IP address and look for a place that will enable him to turn off the router altogether. He'll also have to disable DHCP. If he can't do that, then he can put the TP-Link into bridge mode and it will just pass the signal along. He should also look for a passthrough mode.
Chris says that when it comes to Net Neutrality, the consumer would benefit with more competition, not less. But most cities have internet monopolies with only a few providers and that keeps the cost up. Third party DSL services have helped, and when the FCC issued must carry rules for them, it helped a lot. A true free market with choices would solve the net neutrality issues.